We debated whether or not to go to California Adventure at all - it's the park that is a stone's throw from Disneyland. I had never been so I didn't have an emotional attachment to it, but the Character Breakfast we signed up for took place in that park. Because of this, we needed to use our tickets to get in, so the question was whether we'd pay more money to buy a 'park hopper' ticket that would let us leave and go into Disney once breakfast was over. I looked into the attractions in the second park and decided to just stay in California Adventure for the day.
One thing I (and June!) loved about California Adventure was that they put special emphasis on Ariel. Most of the park is dedicated to Pixar movies (Bugs Life, Cars, etc.), but it's like they wanted to include one Princess to also attract that crowd. If they could have picked one Princess to cater to June, they picked the right one.
There was a restaurant devoted to her (Ariel's Grotto - where we went for breakfast, and how we came to hear June say over and over, "Is that Ariel's....Gwotto?"), one ride and one carousel featuring her. We crammed in these rides before our 9:00 AM breakfast, all fitting together in Ariel's ride, which we took for a second spin after seeing there was no line.
June loves her carousels.
Then we rode an interactive ride that simulated midway games (ring toss, throwing darts) with the Toy Story characters, complete with 3D glasses.
And then it was time for the Character Breakfast! June was so excited to be greeted by Ariel.
Then, after we were seated, new princesses were announced every few minutes to tour the room and visit each table. We lucked out and were the second table on the 'route,' so June didn't have to wait very long to meet each princess after she was announced.
(It's exactly after this picture that my camera died. I swear it had two-thirds battery the night before, so I didn't bother charging it. Rookie mistake. So now all the pictures are iPhone ones.)
This was the life , y'all. We got to eat (a very good breakfast, by the way) and drink coffee while the princesses came to us. No waiting in long lines in the heat of the day.
June was starting to get hyperactive due to all the excitement, so we headed on back to the park.
I'm not sure if it's just the things that we went to, which might be aimed at younger audiences, but I really loved that California Adventure seemed to have more indoor attractions. Less worry about sunburn, air conditioning...it was just nice.
Like Turtle Talk with Crush, which now has June laughing about the word "Duuuuuuude!"
And this huge indoor waiting area for different attractions, which had gigantic screens showing clips and animation processes for the different movies. I saw a lot of people taking a break from the sun here, relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
June, however, wanted to do the opposite of relax and instead had a one-person dance party.
We also went to a Disney Junior show. Everyone had to sit on the ground and we were pinned in, so I was worried about what we'd do if Bennett got fussy.
He was fine... he sat on my lap, then I moved him over to Michael when he got a little fussy and June wanted to sit there.
When it was time to leave, we took one last ride on Ariel's ride and then headed out of the park. I couldn't believe that June didn't throw a fit, but she seemed to understand the whole 'last ride' concept, and was happy to get to choose it.
(She was NOT as happy when we woke her from her stroller nap and made her take off her princess dress to get in her car seat to head to the airport.)
My two goals of the trip were:
1. No one gets a sun burn
2. Relax, enjoy it, don't over-plan, let June set the pace for the trip
I'd say we did pretty good. No one got a sun burn (it's a miracle)!
And I think I did okay at keeping it chill. What I didn't want to happen is have this list of things I needed to cram into the day and be stressed about it. I wanted to have the mentality that, if June wanted to ride certain things over and over again, and if we never made it to certain things, that would be okay...great, even.
That part went well, especially in Disney. Less so in California Adventure, where I wasn't familiar with anything, so felt a little stressed trying to figure out what all would be fun or appropriate for June.
Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and such a fun vacation. I'm already thinking about how great another trip to Disney will be...and June's already asking about it too!